Annual Casino Fee To Increase By 10%

Anil Panesar - Senior WriterAnil Panesar - 20 May 2022 in News

It was decided that a 10% increase will be added to the annual casino license fee in a recent cabinet meeting held in Goa. However, casino owners need not worry just yet. But more on that below.

Here are the current recurring fees for casinos in India:

  • Onshore Casinos: Between Rs 10 crore to Rs 40 crore
  • Offshore Casinos: Between Rs 25 crore to Rs 40 crore

At the time of writing, these are the total casinos in Goa:

  • Ten onshore casinos
  • Six offshore casinos

It is estimated that the license fee turnover on all casinos for 2022-23 will be roughly Rs 320 crore. This is a huge jump from the license fees paid for 2021-22 which was a mere Rs 24.85. This could be due to the fact that the current outstanding license fees to still be collected sit at Rs 359 crore.

However, as previously mentioned, casino owners don’t need to feel threatened just yet.

Why Casinos Can Relax For The Time Being

Although the 10% rise was passed, another agreement was reached as well. The government has decided to extend the relaxation on the fee payment for a further six months.

This can mainly be attributed to the pandemic. The government recognizes the effects Covid-19 had on the casino industry over the past few years. As such, they see it fit to extend the fee payment relaxation for a further six months.

What this means for casinos:

  1. Companies have a further 6 months relaxation on paying annual casino fees
  2. This extension will last from April 1st, 2022 through to September 2022
  3. Casinos will be able to pay back the fees on a pro-rata basis

Another Blow For The Gambling Industry As Taxes Rise

In a recent cabinet meeting held on the 2nd of May, 2022, it was suggested the GST (goods and services tax) be raised to 28%. Currently, online casinos, land-based casinos, and racetracks are paying 18% GST.

However, recently, the Indian GST council elected a Group of Ministers headed by Congrad Sangma, to advise the council on gambling taxation. The sole purpose of the GoM is to guide the GST council to a better, yet reasonable tax bracket for online casinos, land-based casinos, and racetracks. The country has been struggling particularly with the online casino realm. They are still unsure how to proceed with the taxation of this sector.

As such, the council will meet once more towards the end of May. According to Sangma,

"…we are going to meet once more to take all the views of the decision that we in likelihood will take and will take a call"

Even though they have agreed to another meeting, it seems as though the GoM has a general consensus in favour of the 28% taxation.

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